Harryville Homers showed their prowess in penalty shootouts twice in the past week to keep their hopes of two more trophies alive.
In midweek, goalkeeper Ryan Martin was the hero as Robert Duddy’s side claimed their third successive IFA Irish Junior Cup final place after beating Lower Shankill on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Then on Saturday, back on domestic matters, Homers again held their nerve to defeat Ahoghill Thistle on penalties after a scoreless stalemate in their Rainey Cup tie.
IRISH JUNIOR CUP
Harryville Homers 1, Lower Shankill 1 (Homers won 3-0 on pens):
Ryan Martin was the hero for Homers as he saved two Shankill penalties in the shootout to help his side to a victory which sets up a May Day final against Rosemount Rec.
On 18 minutes Homers were awarded a penalty kick when Alan Rainey was fouled. Gary Baird stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to give the holders the lead.
Shankill drew level against the run of play on the half hour when a cross resulted in Homers defender Ian Russell heading the ball over his own keeper Ryan Martin and into the net.
In the dying minutes of a scrappy second half, both sides were reduced to 10 men after a coming together on the halfway line. Two minutes into injury time Homers almost won the game when a looping effort from Gary Bonnes hit the crossbar and fell to Paul McNeill but he dragged his shot wide as the game went into extra time which produced no further scoring.
In the shootout, David Nicholl stepped up first for Homers and he made no mistake before Ryan Martin gave his side the advantage when he saved from Darren McCullough.
Richard Forsythe fired home to give Homers a two goal lead, and Homers cause was further aided when Shankill captain Gary Shields fired his spot kick wide.
Mark McKay made no mistake to put Homers 3-0 in front and then Ryan Martin brilliantly saved from Craig McCann to win the shootout 3-0.
CLOUGH GRSC SAMMY MOORE CUP FINAL
Templepatrick 1, Randalstown 1 (Templepatrick won 5-4 on pens): Division Three Champions Randalstown failed to make it a double as Templepatrick prevailed narrowly in a penalty shootout.
Randalstown got off to the perfect start when they took a third minute lead. Darin Quigley played a ball over the top of the Templepatrick defence for John Kitson to race onto and calmly fire home.
Templepatrick soon worked their way into the game and right on half time Jay Woods split the Randalstown defence for Sam Rowlinson to fire home and send the sides in level at the break, which is how it stayed in normal and extra time.
Both sides dispatched their first three spot kicks leaving the scores at 3-3.
Randalstown then smashed the bar with their fourth spot kick, before Templepatrick scored to give them a 4-3 lead.
Randalstown scored their fifth kick, but Templepatrick’s Captain Adam Lynn slot home his sides fifth kick to give them an unassailable 5-4 lead and win them the cup.
Templepatrick: Jonathan Fields, Alvin Chan, John Knox, Adam Lynn, Gary Surgenor, James Morgan, Jonathan Hunter, Caolan McKeown, Sam Rowlinson, Jay Woods, Mark Freeburn. Subs: Rory McQuillan, Kirk Turtle, Stuart Lynn, Mark Rowlinson, William Coulter
Randalstown: David Waddell, Andrew Russell, Christopher Mellon, Darren Semple, Stephen Dripps, Andrew Campbell, Darin Quigley, Lee McDowell, John Kitson, Ian Murray, Andrew Higham. Subs: Ashley McCullough, Claudio Antunes, Robert Fleck, Richard Ewart, Alastair Downes.
RAINEY CUP ROUND THREE
Harryville Homers 0, Ahoghill Thistle 0 (Homers won 3-1 on pens): For the second time in a week Homers had their keeper to thank and this time it was Alex McCosh who was the hero as he made a fantastic save in the final minute of extra time and then saved a penalty kck to send Homers into the quarter final.
In the dying seconds of extra time Homers had McCosh to thank as he brilliantly kept out a Ryan Sands header and the game was to be decided in a penalty shootout.
Thistle were first to go in the shootout, but Gareth Dickey fired against the crossbar.
David Nicholl made no mistake in putting his side 1-0 in front. Ryan Sands and Gary Baird then both missed their spot kicks to keep the score at 1-0 after two penalties each.
David Calderwood made no mistake with Thistle’s third spot kick but his effort was cancelled out by Ricky Nicholl to give Homers a 2-1 advantage.
Matt Boyd was next to go for Thistle, but Homers keeper Alex McCosh saved brilliantly to leave Alan Rainey the chance to send Homers into the quarter final and he made no mistake.
firmus energy Division One: Ahoghill Thistle 6, Michelin 1; Carniny Rangers 2, All Saints OB 2; Clough Rangers 4, Raceview 2; FC Penarol 0, Connor 3; Clough Rangers 5, Michelin 0; Connor FC 5, FC Moylena 0; Raceview 0, Carniny Rangers 4
firmus energy Division Two: Braid United 0, Seven Towers 4; Holywell 2, Ahoghill Rovers 2; Riverdale 2, Glenravel 2; Ahoghill Rovers 2 Waveney Swifts 1; Glenravel 4, Cloughmills 1; Newpark Olympic 2, Riverdale 2; Lisnafillan Swifts 4, Holywell 5
firmus energy BSML Division Three
Cushendall 5, Atletico Antrim 0; Steadfast 0, Sporting Ballymoney 4; Wakehurst Star 1, Sporting Ballymoney 5
Rainey Cup, round three: Seven Towers 2, Woodside 0
Tuesday, April 28 (7pm) - Rainey Cup quarter-final: Harryville Homers v Riverdale (Wakehurst 2).
firmus energy Division One: All Saints OB v Raceview (Showgrounds 5); Clough Rangers v Ahoghill Thistle (Clough).
Wednesday, April 29 (7pm) - firmus energy Division Three: Atletico Antrim v Woodside (Forum).
Thursday, April 30 (7pm) - Rainey Cup, round three: Clough Rangers v Randalstown (Clough).
firmus energy Division One: Abbeyview v Harryville Homers (Forum).
Friday, May 1 (7pm) - George McAuley Cup final: Ahoghill Rovers v Seven Towers (Connor).
Saturday, May 2 (10.15am) - Ace Cup semi-final: Carniny Rangers v Ahoghill Thistle (Connor).
firmus energy Division One: Michelin v Connor.
firmus energy Division Two: Glenravel v Galgorm Blues (Showgrounds 4); Riverdale v Cullybackey Olympic (Wakehurst 2).
firmus energy Division Three: Cushendall v Wakehurst Star; Sporting Ballymoney v Rectory Rovers; Steadfast v Templepatrick (Galgorm).